NRL 2022: Ivan Cleary, Penrith Panthers coach, knee injury, surgery, misses Magic Round

The Panthers have announced that the team will be without their most important figure after a late retirement for “medical reasons”.

Penrith has announced that coach Ivan Cleary will miss the club’s Magic Round clash with Melbourne on Saturday night.

The club released a statement on Saturday morning to announce that the Premiership-winning mentor underwent a second knee surgery earlier this week.

The statement suggests that Cleary did not travel to Brisbane for the Magic Round.

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“Clary was dealing with an ongoing knee infection and had a second knee surgery this week,” the club said in a statement.

“Following the doctor’s advice and with the long-term prognosis compromised, the manager believes that being in Brisbane would not add value to the team under the current circumstances.

Cleary will be in constant communication with the team throughout the match and the football staff have made sure the team is well prepared for the Round 10 clash.

Ivan Cleary also missed the team’s Round 9 defeat to Parramatta during Panthers week from Hell, where senior assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo was also missing due to Covid-19.

He was on crutches during training sessions last week and had a first operation.

The Eels beat the Panthers 22-20 in the Battle of the West and the incumbent premier now has the daunting task of tackling Melbourne’s scorching storm on Saturday night.

It was the Panthers’ first defeat of the season and ended their streak of 21 straight home wins.

Originally published as Cleary misses Magic Round, goes under the knife a second time